Macbeth: William Shakespeare

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Macbeth: William Shakespeare

The play Macbeth by William Shakespeare tells a story of the Thane of Glamis, Macbeth. Macbeth is driven by ambition to become a highly recognized person in society. On his way to the top, he encounters some obstacles. Macbeth is forced to make decisions that would involve serious consequences. Many of these decisions resulted in the loss of life for someone who knew Macbeth. The other result was the effect of death on the other people. He has flaws that make him imperfect. A human being is characterized by the frailties and weaknesses associated with humans as imperfect beings. Macbeth is a thoroughly representative human being.

One word that can be easily associated with Macbeth is ambition. It is necessary for one person to have ambition in order to succeed. Ambition is first planted in Macbeth's head by King Duncan appointing him Thane of Cawdor. Macbeth's valiant effort in the war and the news of the Thane of Cawdor assisting the enemy cause Duncan to sentence death upon the Thane of Cawdor. When the witches approach Macbeth and Banquo, they call Macbeth Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor, and king hereafter. That statement would stick out in Macbeth's mind throughout the rest of the play. Macbeth's hopping back and forth between fully believing the prophecy and thinking about its distance from a real possibility. After hearing this from the witches, Macbeth begins to be driven by a negative type of ambition. Macbeth's very first words in the play are, "So foul and fair a day I have not seen" (I.ii.38). These words, of course, remind us of the witches, and they link Macbeth with forces of evil before he ever meets the witches.

Macbeth's ambition is also driven other people in a negative connotation. Another flaw Macbeth display's is his weak mindedness. Lady Macbeth accuses Macbeth of not being a real man and that he does not have the will to carry out an evil deed. Lady Macbeth throughout the entire play increases the pressure on Macbeth about being a real man. At one point Lady Macbeth wishes to become a man to carry out cruel punishment. Together with the witches, Lady Macbeth's ambition becomes Macbeth's driving force. The ambition that is driving Macbeth is now with bad intentions. Macbeth is now filled with the ambition to kill the king of Scotland.

Not only is Macbeth by far the shortest of William Shakespeare's great tragedies, but it is also anomalous in some structural respects (Bradley, 27-36). Like Othello (1604) and only a very few other Shakespearean plays, Macbeth is without the complications of a subplot. Consequently, the action moves forward in a swift and inexorable rush. More significantly, the climax—the murder of Duncan—takes place very early in the play. As a result, attention is focused on the various consequences of the crime rather than on the ambiguities or moral dilemmas that had preceded and occasioned it.

In this, the play differs from Othello, where the hero commits murder only after long plotting, ...
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